Holiday romances are undeniably sweet; that’s why they pair perfectly with Christmas cookies. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite holiday romances and picked the cookies we’d love to snack on while reading them. Grab a book and preheat the oven: You’ve got reading and eating to do!
How the Dukes Stole Christmas by Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, Joanna Shupe
The stories in this anthology are all connected by a shortbread recipe that is passed down through generations. The shortbread may be magical (it’s rumored to bring you love), and while it is hilarious disgusting in the short stories the recipe these authors included at the back is simply delicious.
Mexican Wedding Cookies
Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert
In this heartwarming holiday romance, Teddy MacNally dons an elf costume and unexpectedly falls for Nick Nowicki, who is dressed up as Santa Claus at the same charity event. When the two are snowed in together, both realize the potential for their holiday fling to last into the warmer months. This snowy plotline makes it perfect for pairing with these powdered sugar-covered cookies.
Merry Inkmas by Talia Hibbert
Sugar cookies are a staple of the holiday season, and we think they’d be a big hit with the hero of this book: tattoo artist Cash Evans. We’re readers, not decorators, but we believe Cash’s artistic skills would shine on these sweet treats. In the novel Cash secretly longs for barista Bailey Cooper, who we like to imagine could serve up the perfect drink to go with any sugar cookies he created.
Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis
Molly Malone has the hots for Lucas Knight in this scorcher from Jill Shalvis. The two spent a night together, but Lucas doesn’t remember any of it. Molly, of course, remembers everything and plans to use it to her advantage. We recommend whipping up a batch of these wreath cookies studded with red hots in honor of the budding romance.
Whiskey Chocolate Chip Cookies
A Wedding One Christmas by Therese Beharrie
Angie is dreading going home to South Africa for a wedding. To make it through the event, and to avoid probing questions about her love life, she ropes Ezra in to be her fake boyfriend. But weddings can be long affairs and we think these two will need some sustenance and some booze to survive. Our pick: gooey hazelnut and whiskey-chocolate ganache sandwich cookies.
Peanut Butter Blossom
Kiss Me at Christmas by Valerie Bowman
Daffin Oakleaf isn’t a big fan of Christmas. To him, the holiday and its accompanying traditions are gratingly cheerful. We’d love to bake him a batch of peanut butter blossoms: They’re not overwhelmingly Christmas-y, and they’re topped with a chocolate kiss!
Kitchen Sink Cookies
If the Fates Allow by Annie Harper, Killian B. Brewer, Lynn Charles, Erin Finnegan, Pene Henson, and Lilah Suzanne
Kitchen sink cookies have a little bit of everything: corn flakes, pretzels, chocolate chips, chocolate candies… that’s what makes them so uniquely satisfying. We find this LGBTQ+ collection featuring a range of queer stories equally satisfying: It features Christmas gems from some of our favorite romance authors, making it the perfect volume to get cozy with this December.
Wrapped by Rebekah Weatherspoon
The best part of Christmas is unwrapping a present to uncover what surprise is inside—don’t you think? That’s why surprise cookies (which contain hidden stores of caramel or fudge) are perfect for this time of year, and for this novella about expecting a fling and getting so much more instead.